26 July 2017

The Moth Presents All These Wonders: A Blogging for Books Review

The first thing that attracted me to this book was its cover. I soon found that the stories inside were just as, if not more, lovely.

The book is just that: a collection of lovely stories transcribed from a live story-telling forum known as The Moth. I'd never heard of it before reading this book, but The Moth is a pretty big deal and has a podcast and all that. This book was a good representation of well known people and everyday people simply telling personal stories about meaningful experiences. One of my favorite things about my own experience reading these stories was seeing the breadth of what was meaningful for so many people. A story about being a child soldier in Africa carried as much weight as a story about giving David Bowie a haircut. Nothing seemed beneath respect because you knew each story meant enough to someone for them to stand up in front of a crowd and share. Nothing seemed overly begging you to be awed because you knew each storyteller had been equally humbled by the act of honestly addressing a live audience. All in all, a very touching reading experience.

This was a fun deviation from reading novels. The format made it very easy to pick up and read a few stories here and there. I can't fathom why anyone would want to, but you could also very easily read stories out of order. It's an approachable book and one that tugs at the common thread that links all of us humans. I can only imagine the impact of hearing the stories live!

Obligatory disclosure: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. More info can be found here.

21 July 2017

Finger Update

Thank you to everyone who expressed concern and/or shuddered a little bit on my behalf! Writing it all out was cathartic. The events of that morning kept rattling around in my head and it was a relief to hand them over to the internet.

I'm happy to report that my finger is on the mend. Every day feels a little better and a little more normal. The first look was tough, but since then I've been sort of fascinated with witnessing the whole process of the body healing itself*. We've got some pretty neat bodies! My finger is expected to grow back to at least a reasonable length and shape, which is wicked sweet if you ask me.

Thanks again for thinking of me. I can happily say that I've moved past the frightened stage and on to the "milk this baby for all it's worth" stage - for a reserved somewhat recluse I cannot tell you how great it is to have a built-in topic of conversation for all of my workplace small talk needs. And yes, I have resumed cutting and quilting! The very evening of the accident, in fact. Quilters gotta quilt.

*I've been sending pictures to my loving husband each day to allow him to witness the process as well - if you're interested, just let me know

17 July 2017

warning graphic content (sort of)

A few exciting things have happened in my quilting life recently.

1. I quilted my Texas quilt and hand-stitched the binding. It has since been claimed by the furry one.

2. Remember my t-shirt quilt that I promised to update everyone on? Quilting on my standard machine turned into much more of a beast than I expected, so as a Christmas gift (thanks, Mom and Dad!) it was taken to a Cheryl who quilted it on her long arm. We picked it up a few weeks ago. Now to bind!

3. I purchased a new rotary cutter! It's colorful, fun, and sharp.
4. I removed a portion of my left index finger with aforementioned rotary cutter. Ouch.

Yes, a traumatic quilting accident occurred on the morning of July 16th. I was cutting fabric, as I have thousands of times before, when my rotary cutter slipped and took off a hunk of fingertip. At first I simply would not believe it happened, but it proved to be too difficult a task to explain away the piece of flesh and freshly painted fingernail on the mat next to my ruler. In lieu of a play by play, I'll give y'all some insight as to my inner dialogue in the moment:

"Oh gosh, did I cut my finger? I don't think I cut my finger. Is that my finger? I couldn't have cut my finger off. I cut my finger off!!! Oh, oh, I'm bleeding. It's bleeding." *walks across room to paper towels* "Did I cut my finger off? Who can I call? Should I call 911? They don't do fingers. Do they do fingers? Aren't ambulances expensive? I have to drive. I have to drive. Who can I call? I can't go like this. I have to change." *walks to closet to change out of pajamas* "I'm wasting time!!! I'm going to bleed out because I changed clothes! Do I have to drive? Where's UrgentCare? I think there's one on Greenville. I think there's two on Greenville, actually. Should I just call 911? I need to use the restroom. I don't have time to use the restroom!! But I might wet my pants if I have to wait anywhere. Oh gosh." *uses the restroom, remembers cat* "Cyber! Cyber come here mama has to go. NOW!" *shoves cat into bedroom* "Does he have food? No time!" *vision starts to darken around periphery* "Oh gosh, I'm going to pass out. I'm going to pass out in the car and crash. Who can I call? I can't drive. I have to drive. I'm going to pass out right here and no one will know. No one will know!! I have to drive. I can't pass out." *takes time for yoga breaths* "Okay, that's a little better. I'm better. Do I have to go?" *somewhat in denial, takes time to pause Netflix in hopes that the situation will correct itself* "I have to go!!! I'm going to pass out and crash. Should I take this? I should take this." *puts fingertip in Ziploc* "Okay, here we go. Where's my phone? Where's my phone? Do I need my phone? I should probably call someone. Oh, here it is." *exits apartment, gets in car, blasts AC* "Okay, this is better. We can do this, we can do this babe. Let's go."

I made it to UrgentCare without passing out or crashing, and they ended up sending me to a freestanding ER clinic right across the street from my apartment complex where I was fixed up with some bandages and a tetanus shot. In the moment, it was probably the scariest thing to happen to me in my adult life. In retrospect, it makes a pretty funny story.

Be careful with those rotary cutters, ladies and gentlemen!

09 April 2017

ongoing simplification

I'm finally getting to a point where I like everything in my closet (minus the ill-fitting button downs that I somehow feel must be requisite of any "business casual" wardrobe). Novel concept, I know. But I've always struggled with the what-if. What if I need that later? What if I change my mind about the fit? What if it doesn't really look that bad? What if I can never again find something like this?!

Thoughts sort of ridiculous once voiced, but there all the same.

I've never needed something later. I've never changed my mind about fit, unless it goes from bad to really bad. It usually always does look that bad, and even if it doesn't I'm thinking it does and my confidence is shot. And that last one is untested because I've never thought about finding the same thing again.

Now is the perfect time for me to enact some spring cleaning and simplification - maintaining what is meaningful and enjoyable, getting rid of what isn't. I'm starting in the closet but, to be honest, there are some wacky things I've just continued to tote around from apartment to apartment starting from freshman year. Like my high school graduation announcements. Threw those out a few weeks ago.

Yep, time to simplify.

29 March 2017

Things I Like!

Sharing some things that have been favorites of mine here recently. They are mostly to do with running and cats because that's what my life has become. NO SHAME.

Compression Leg Sleeves
My Zensah compression sleeves - perfect for long runs and recovery! I'm all into compression socks/sleeves lately. Gotta keep those legs looking good and circulating properly. Jeff told me to wear these and I thought he was crazy. I was wrong. P.S. they have limited edition bunny sleeves for Easter

Cyber's grasshoppers - we had a bit of drama when his jingle ball rolled to the abyss that is underneath the stove, but these little guys have been a most beloved replacement. Dude loves bugs.

Dr Teals Pure Epsom Salt Soaking Solution, Detoxify & Energize with Ginger & Clay, 3 Pound Bag
Dr. Teal's Epsom Salts - nothing feels better after a run, workout, or long day than a good ol' epsom soak. The ginger and clay is my favorite scent, but I've liked all that I've tried so far.

My Mpow Coach bluetooth headphones - nice for the gym and running. No need to mess with that flappy cord that always gets in the way! Jeff gave me these even though I said I didn't want them. I was wrong.

My Garmin Forerunner 25 - this little watch is a perfect basic GPS running watch for me. No bells and whistles, just GPS functionality and also an activity tracker for daily steps and sleep and such. All you need, nothing you don't.

Chock Full O Nuts Ground Coffee, Original Blend, 48 Ounce
Coffee! To drink, duh, but also to pull out nasty cigarette reek from a recently purchased used book. It didn't smell that bad in the store. Also, I needed it, which leads us to....

The Dark Tower series - yeah, so good. Just started (and de-stunk) Book VII.

adventurecats.org - these cats are ballin'. Who knew there was such a community for outdoorsy cats?! I'm getting lots of ideas....